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Author Topic: Bots  (Read 1865 times)

Offline Zygmund

  • Pure of Heart
  • Posts: 1806
  • Europe, Finland
Bots
« on: April 18, 2018, 09:18:03 AM »
There seems to be a new breed of bots who post nonsense to various (old) threads:
Bautista
Falconut
Walternut
Primitivo

They don't seem to visit after joining, but nevertheless, their posts are annoying.

It would be really interesting to trace where they come from.

-Z
Forget the 6'x4' game, focus on the story beyond that. Because fantasy matters.

Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

  • Posts: 8895
  • Attorney-at-RAW
Re: Bots
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2018, 09:27:55 AM »
From Zule...
It is not enough to have no ideas of your own; you must also be incapable of expressing them.
Sex, lies and manuscripts: The History of the Empire as Depicted in the Art of the Time (10/07/16)

Offline Zygmund

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  • Posts: 1806
  • Europe, Finland
Re: Bots
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2018, 06:01:40 AM »
Elisendaz just joined and spammed gibberish.

Have to say these bots nowadays come with reasonagly good names. A couple of years past you could tell a bot directly from the username. Perhaps, after a couple of years, they don't write gibberish anymore, but perfectly sensible sentences that connect to the topic and the previous message?

-Z
Forget the 6'x4' game, focus on the story beyond that. Because fantasy matters.

Offline GamesPoet

  • Posts: 13997
  • Happy Halloween! : )
Re: Bots
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2018, 09:24:56 AM »
I'd rather just converse with humans.
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb

Offline Zygmund

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  • Posts: 1806
  • Europe, Finland
Re: Bots
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2018, 10:00:36 AM »
The bot of the day: Diagnoyaz.

-Z
Forget the 6'x4' game, focus on the story beyond that. Because fantasy matters.

Offline Artobans Ghost

  • Posts: 2799
Re: Bots
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2018, 10:44:45 AM »
The bot of the day: Diagnoyaz.

-Z

Being a technoluddite - what is the purpose of making a bot? Especially here?
Mathi Alfblut Feb 4,2017
Simple, You gut the bastard with your sword, the viking way.
Questions?

Mathi Alfblut Dec 9,2017
Get a binge of Yule ale, roasted boar and some proper axes and we will ALL be happy again!

GP Aug 8, 2019
Can we just take a hammer to it, smash it into little bits.

Online Padre

  • Posts: 3195
Re: Bots
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2018, 12:19:06 PM »
I would answer your question, Artoban, but the knowledge would upset you and according to the first law of robotics (A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm) I cannot allow that to happen.

How else may I serve you?
Photobucket has graciously resurrected my pictures, so my collected works thread is suddenly working again - see http://warhammer-empire.com/theforum/index.php?topic=38528.0. To see my slowly growing website go to https://bigsmallworlds.com/

Offline Artobans Ghost

  • Posts: 2799
Re: Bots
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2018, 12:47:55 PM »
I would answer your question, Artoban, but the knowledge would upset you and according to the first law of robotics (A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm) I cannot allow that to happen.

How else may I serve you?

Fantastic answer Padre! Quote from one of my favorite authors - Asimov and then you hit me with the Starlost computer helper - how may I serve you (actually not quite but enough to make me spill my coffee)
Mathi Alfblut Feb 4,2017
Simple, You gut the bastard with your sword, the viking way.
Questions?

Mathi Alfblut Dec 9,2017
Get a binge of Yule ale, roasted boar and some proper axes and we will ALL be happy again!

GP Aug 8, 2019
Can we just take a hammer to it, smash it into little bits.

Offline Zygmund

  • Pure of Heart
  • Posts: 1806
  • Europe, Finland
Re: Bots
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2018, 02:15:15 PM »
Some reasons for bots:

Bots may try to eventually post ads or links to ads. If they don't do this right at joining, but sometime after when they already have an account with previous posts, the likelihood of someone clicking those ads rises (statistically, maybe not on this forum).

Fake presences on harmless forums improve the credibility of the same fake presences on other internet fora.

Having an account gives access to some forum areas which are not accessible without an account. The bots may crawl the forum for data. What data and for what purpose, I cannot imagine. But we are being surveyed a lot these days, and there's lot of money behind creating computer entities that behave believably like humans. It could be just an automatic test. Maybe source those bots, where they came from?


There has been some kind of serious bot activity on this forum earlier: in early-mid 2009, in early-mid 2011 (heavy!), and in mid-late 2013. I don't know why, but they seem to have been real events. Maybe they were orchestrated? Or maybe there is a constant bombing of all web forums, and this site happened to have some holes in anti-bot defences just during those months. This has happened on a couple of other forums where I've been active, and has led to some limiting practices by the forum hosters.

For me personally, nonsense spam posts by bots are a huge annoyance. So I do appreciate the tech guys of W-E for keeping this forum clean of such.

-Z
Forget the 6'x4' game, focus on the story beyond that. Because fantasy matters.

Offline Zygmund

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  • Posts: 1806
  • Europe, Finland
Re: Bots
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2019, 12:29:02 PM »
As the real forum traffic diminishes, there is a new wave of bots registering here.

Since December we have an explosion of non-existent new members, and despite the automatic cleaning, it seems some of them get through. Most link to adult sites. Hope they don't figure out how to link pictures.

-Z
Forget the 6'x4' game, focus on the story beyond that. Because fantasy matters.

Offline Zygmund

  • Pure of Heart
  • Posts: 1806
  • Europe, Finland
Re: Bots
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2019, 08:10:49 AM »
Well, now they started to post.

-Z
Forget the 6'x4' game, focus on the story beyond that. Because fantasy matters.

Offline GamesPoet

  • Posts: 13997
  • Happy Halloween! : )
Re: Bots
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2019, 10:47:16 AM »
Is there a way to stop them?  Disappointing to think that someone has nothing better else than to create advertisements where they aren't wanted nor paying for them.  I've been notifying the admins about the posts as I see them, and from past experience, these things can get worse.
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb

Offline Midaski

  • Sunny Sussex, England
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 11425
Re: Bots
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2019, 11:33:50 AM »
I have just looked at the anti-spam settings and it looks like users have to pass a 2-stage verification of:

1. One of those scrambled visual images where you have to identify the letters
2. Answer 2 WHFB Empire related questions

Now I am not sure if that was actually working as the "Verification needed to post" condition needs a minimum post count to activate it - that was set to '0' and so I have reset it to 5

Let's see if that works.

I did think there was a separate set up for registration that needed the questions but I cannot find that at the moment.
However this should stop them posting anyway - I hope.



Edit: Just checked the members lists - apparently there are 863 members awaiting activation of their accounts  :engel:

By 'activation' I mean they have to verify their email address.

2nd Edit:
Just changed the terms to allow 14 days to activate the account - otherwise delete it.
Now we have just 60 awaiting activation, and 3 requiring activation because they have changed their email address.

So - in two weeks 60 dodgy registrations and I think we have had 8 dodgy posts.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 11:44:15 AM by Midaski »
Quote from: Gneisenau
Quote
Metal to Finecast - It is mostly a swap of medium. 

You mean they will be using Ouija boards instead of Tarot cards for their business plans from now on?

Offline Zygmund

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Re: Bots
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2019, 11:49:40 AM »
Thank you, Midaski. Hope this works.

-Z
Forget the 6'x4' game, focus on the story beyond that. Because fantasy matters.

Offline GamesPoet

  • Posts: 13997
  • Happy Halloween! : )
Re: Bots
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2019, 01:32:03 PM »
Sounds good, thanks! :icon_cool: :::cheers:::
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb

Offline Warlord

  • Global Moderator
  • Posts: 9401
  • Sydney, Australia
Re: Bots
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2019, 04:34:51 AM »
Playing a little bit of Whack-a-mole at the moment.
Thanks for your patience!
Quote from: Gneisenau
I hate people who don't paint their armies, hate them with all my guts. Beats me how they value other things over painting, like eating or brushing teeth.

Offline Gankom

  • Posts: 3617
  • The World Builder
Re: Bots
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2019, 02:04:35 AM »
Good hunting Warlord! I report em as I see em to try and do my part, no matter how tempting unsolicited strange bot sex offers are.

Offline Zygmund

  • Pure of Heart
  • Posts: 1806
  • Europe, Finland
Re: Bots
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2019, 01:38:53 PM »
Warlord,

Can you just delete all accounts with zero posts, created onwards from March 28? They're all bots with dirty links.

On some forums where I've been, new members are accepted only when they've sent their first post - usually in the Hello subforum. So you absolutely need to post a sensible first message in order to be able to post on the forum.

Since we're seeing extremely few new members these days, this shouldn't be a hard task at all. It just needs a high administrative ranking.

-Z
Forget the 6'x4' game, focus on the story beyond that. Because fantasy matters.

Online Padre

  • Posts: 3195
Re: Bots
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2019, 01:58:52 PM »
This is an automated reply. The unit designated 'Padre' has processed this information and will respond as soon as its recharging cycle is complete. Message over.
Photobucket has graciously resurrected my pictures, so my collected works thread is suddenly working again - see http://warhammer-empire.com/theforum/index.php?topic=38528.0. To see my slowly growing website go to https://bigsmallworlds.com/

Offline GamesPoet

  • Posts: 13997
  • Happy Halloween! : )
Re: Bots
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2019, 03:05:37 PM »
( GP is really a bot ... I am just his keeper. :icon_wink: )
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb

Offline Gankom

  • Posts: 3617
  • The World Builder
Re: Bots
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2019, 03:54:03 PM »
Little did we know, but W-E is really just a very elaborate voight-kampff test!

Online Padre

  • Posts: 3195
Re: Bots
« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2019, 10:25:43 PM »
Just seen another. By Laura Bap. Thank goodness her baps were clothed!
Photobucket has graciously resurrected my pictures, so my collected works thread is suddenly working again - see http://warhammer-empire.com/theforum/index.php?topic=38528.0. To see my slowly growing website go to https://bigsmallworlds.com/

Offline GamesPoet

  • Posts: 13997
  • Happy Halloween! : )
Re: Bots
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2019, 11:55:43 PM »
Yep, some are sneaking into the site again.
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb

Offline Von Zorn

  • Posts: 35
Re: Bots
« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2019, 08:50:36 PM »
Just seen another. By Laura Bap. Thank goodness her baps were clothed!

Only just!

Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

  • Posts: 8895
  • Attorney-at-RAW
Re: Bots
« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2019, 10:12:09 PM »
Yes, it is only just and proper....
It is not enough to have no ideas of your own; you must also be incapable of expressing them.
Sex, lies and manuscripts: The History of the Empire as Depicted in the Art of the Time (10/07/16)